The information provided below directs all offices and districts to implement the CDC Guidance for Fully Vaccinated Persons. (Please direct questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Executive Order 72-7th Amended requires that “All individuals in the Commonwealth aged five and older should cover their mouth and nose with a mask in accordance with CDC guidance linked here.” This links to CDC’s Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People.
CDC’s Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People indicates that that “fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.” Further, the recommendations within this CDC guidance apply to non-healthcare settings. For related information for healthcare settings, visit Updated Healthcare Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations in Response to COVID-19 Vaccination. In all healthcare facilities, staff, patients, residents, and visitors should continue to wear masks.
CDC defines healthcare settings as “… places where healthcare is delivered and includes, but is not limited to, acute care facilities, long-term acute care facilities, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes and assisted living facilities, home healthcare, vehicles where healthcare is delivered (e.g., mobile clinics), and outpatient facilities, such as dialysis centers, physician offices, and others.”
Within such settings, CDC currently continues to recommend universal source control, including a recommendation that visitors, regardless of their vaccination status, should wear a well-fitting cloth mask, facemask, or respirator (N95 or a respirator approved under standards used in other countries that are similar to NIOSH-approved N95 filtering facepiece respirators) for source control. As noted in the CDC guidance for healthcare settings, healthcare personnel should continue to follow all current infection prevention and control recommendations, including those addressing work restrictions, quarantine, testing, and use of personal protective equipment to protect themselves and others from SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Mask policy for clients:
Because it may be difficult to distinguish between the physical spaces in which clients seeking clinical services and the physical spaces in which clients are seeking non-clinical services (e.g., requesting vital records, environmental health services, or other similar non-clinical paperwork), we direct LHDs to require clients to continue to wear masks, regardless of vaccination status, when they are visiting the premises. (Appropriate exceptions to this still apply as per EO72.)
An exception to this recommendation may be reasonable if the LHD’s physical layout has clear distinction between such settings, such as non-clinical services being offered in a distinct building or separate office space that does not share a common waiting area with a clinical services waiting area.
Mask policy for VDH staff in clinical settings:
VDH LHD staff providing direct clinical services, as well as LHD, Central Office, and field-based staff conducting inspections, investigations, and surveys at clinical settings including provider offices, hospitals and long-term care facilities, should continue to adhere to the Updated Healthcare Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations in Response to COVID-19 Vaccination. This includes clinical services being provided at the LHD and vaccine services that may be provided off-site at mass vaccination sites, mobile clinics, etc.
All other VDH offices including the Madison Building:
For offices and work units that do not provide clinical services, it is recommended to follow the CDC Guidance accordingly, which allows fully vaccinated persons to choose not to wear a mask in most indoor and outdoor settings. Unvaccinated persons should continue to follow all public health precautions, including wearing masks when in public spaces shared by others.
Note: CDC is considering how or if the updates for the community should be applied in healthcare settings; VDH Central Office will amend the guidance above for LHDs if CDC updates the healthcare guidance.